I distinctly remember the first time I heard a Bach Duetto live. I’m referring to the Four Duets, BWV 802-805 from his Clavier Übung III.
A pianist colleague was accompanying several other wind soloists and me on a faculty recital. On the day of the performance, one of the soloists took ill and had to cancel. This colleague, on the spur of the moment, performed the first two of the duets in her place as a way to fill out the program.
I was immediately taken with both the simplicity and complexity of these keyboard duets. Some describe the A section of the F major duet as “absolute perfection,” achievable only by Bach. In the B section, however, Bach seems to rebel, breaking all of the “rules” of his day. The duet ends with a return to the A section, in true da capo aria style.
I love the rebellious sides of Bach. This represents only one of many such examples.
Enjoy this recording of the Four Duets by pianist, Sergey Schepkin.